Modi, Imran can decide on Indo-Pak bilateral cricket ties, says Sourav Ganguly

NEW DELHI : Newly elected BCCI chief and former India captain Sourav Ganguly addressed the issue of bilateral series between India and Pakistan, saying that cricket ties between the two countries are subject to approval from the Prime Ministers of both sides.

During a media briefing on Thursday in Kolkata, Ganguly was asked about the resumption of India-Pakistan bilateral ties and the former cricketer replied, “You have to ask that question to Modi ji and the Pakistan Prime Minister.”

“Of course we have (to take permission), because international exposure (tours) is all through governments. So we don’t have an answer to that question,” he added.

It has been seven years that India and Pakistan participated in a bilateral series. It was back in 2012 that India hosted Pakistan for a limited-overs series comprising two T20Is and three ODIs.

Reacting strongly to the February 14 terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, the BCCI had asked the ICC ‘to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates.’

India’s most influential captain and Cricket Association of Bengal chief emerged as the lone contender Monday in the race to be BCCI president, confirming his phenomenal rise to the top of Indian cricket.

The 47-year-old, who will take charge as BCCI’s next president on October 23, had led India on the historic tour of Pakistan in 2004, the first bilateral series since the Kargil war in 1999 and India’s first visit to Pakistan since 1989.

After his appointment, Ganguly also said that he will speak to the national selection committee about their plans regarding MS Dhoni’s future and then give an opinion on the matter.

India lead the World Test Championship table but Virat Kohli’s side has not won any global tournament. Speaking on the Indian cricket team, Ganguly said, “It is a very good side. My only thing is that they need to win big tournaments. I’m not saying they need to win every time. It’s not possible. But we have gone through seven big tournaments without winning one.”

“They are a much better side than that. That is the only area where they need to get themselves ready mentally. Talent is enormous, otherwise they couldn’t have played so well in the World Cup till the semi-finals. So that’s an issue which Virat